In 1968, three public information officers—Jim Burns of the N.C. Department of Social Services, Patty Nash of the Council on Mental Retardation and Carl Blackwood of the N.C. Commission for the Blind—attended a government relations meeting at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare in Washington, D.C. They returned to the Tar Heel State with an idea that public information officers needed a forum to meet each other and exchange ideas.

Later that year, a dozen PIOs met and laid the groundwork for forming an association. With the help of Dr. Elmer Oettinger at the Institute of Government in Chapel Hill, the group held its first seminar in January 1970. NCAGIO has grown and developed since that time.